Discussions de vol libre au Québec
1 juin 1997 au 20 août 2000
Date: 26 juin 2000|
De: Jerome Daoust (230)
Sujet: Photos (12)
Je suis content pour tous ceux qui on vole durant cette St-Jean.
De mon cote j'ai aussi bien vole Samedi, et un ami m'a laisser
voler une demi-heure avec sa Swing/Arcus. C'est tres different de
mon Omega 4, avec environs le double du trajet necessaire pour
faire des maneuvres. Mais c'est encore plus le fun d'etre plus
haut que tout le monde avec une aile debutant.
Cote negatif, on a eu un deces Vendredi d'un parapentiste parce
qu'il s'amusait depuis 15-20 minutes a se maintenir dans un cote
sous-le-vent. Il a fait une descente spiralee suite a une fermeture
de seulement 30% puis etait deja mort quand les premiers sont arrive
a lui apres plus d'une heure (difficile d'acces). Le gars etait un
pilote intermediaire et volait avec une Edel/Quantum. Plus bas
j'ai join le rapport d'accident.
Fatality Report (from Rob McKenzie, 2000/6/24)
Yesterday at about 6 PM or shortly thereafter, as a group of local evening air pilots all dove off for their nice mellow flights, one of them, Eric Lowhar, spun into the hill in his paraglider about
500' below Marshall launch height but on the east face of cloud peak and sustained somewhat fluke head injuries and died from them before anyone could get to him. It started as a "paraglider on the
hill" report, without any obvious seriousness. Not that such happens every day but often enough to simply begin the immediate task to see if the pilot is ok. Pilots flew over and soon sent back "no
motion" and a terrifying report from Dave Davenport of the pilot being visible but motionless in a fetal position. Oh Shit! A call to 911 explaining the need for a helicopter and what has been
observed so far, and we scrambled to start a foot rescue with radio communications channeled at all ends. Visions of a pilot with a broken ankle or pelvis or... [well] the unknown soon (in about 90
minutes of scrambling and brambling through the bushes) gave word that Eric was dead. Tim Curtis and Victor (russian) were first to get to Eric and made the futile check for vitals. Worth mentioning
are the following... Tim Nelson spearheaded the drive up the mountain (please keep the speed on the corners slow Tim we don't need another accident), Dianne McKenzie relayed radio traffic from
Marshall since those near the scene could not reach the LZ by radio, I assisted by guiding paramedic ground rescue up Hwy 18 to the site and many others pitched in to assist in a variety of ways
including consoling his girlfriend at the LZ who came out to watch Eric fly. I heard some comments to the effect that it took too long to get help to Eric. The fact is that we fly over very difficult
terrain and 90 minutes to get to such a remote location is tough to beat even if we were experienced at it. So the fact is... if you think that you will have help within several hours after a crash on
the mountainside, either change your thinking or take up bowling
We should be proud of making it nearly 19 years without a fatality. With averaging over 150 members this is a record that is hard to beat. National averages says 1 fatality in 1000 pilot years and we
made it nearly 3000 pilot years. But we must remember each of the times that someone has had a hard landing or actually needed medical attention. Every time there is such an incident we roll the dice
on making this incident a fatal one. Eric's landing according to the only witness was not an excessively hard hit. It was excessively hard ground. Steep rocky cliff that had him perhaps a couple or
more impacts as he slid down a few meters and eventually suffered head and face trauma. The old saying... it's not how far you fall but how you hit. Chance plays a big part. But if you make a nice
soft landing at the LZ the odds are greatly in your favor of a happy walk off the field.
Did Eric make a mistake? Since he was found on the lee side of a ridge in winds that were gusting 5 to 15 mph in the LZ and a smooth 5 to 8 at launch and he was 500' below and behind the ridge after a
200' descent in a spin we can conclude he was flying on the lee side of the ridge. But I have to say that I witness many pilots doodling around low in similar areas. It was on Wednesday of this week I
had to coach a friend not to fly to the lee side of the many ridges that make up the Marshall Complex. If you have ever found yourself low on the wrong side of a ridge or had an accidental negative
spin or perhaps even a hard landing that could have been different if there was a rock there, then this fatality should be a wake-up call for you to pay attention to what you're doing and start
practicing conservative flying. Don't push it... because the earth pushes back equally hard [or] It's probably better to be bored than burried?
I wish to thank all parts of the massive rescue movement that formed in the minutes between 6:15 PM and 7 PM as we all gained momentum fueled by the knowledge of the lack of motion at the accident
A formal report to the USHGA will be made and reported here in the near future. If you want to add anything to the report or have information vital (like you witnessed anything regarding Eric's
flight), please email me the info.
So, next July 23rd will make 1 month since the last fatality. I plan on being here for at least another 19 years to see us break the old record. Do your part and stay alive. Otherwise we will miss you
like we are already missing Eric.
Robert Bernier wrote:
> Avis aux intéressés !
> Mes photos de la journée de vol d'hier son maintenant sur mon site.
> Robert Bernier